Darwin Anniversary

The year 2009 is the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of his groundbreaking book On the Origin of Species. Darwin, one of the greatest naturalists of all time, exemplifies Thomas Edison’s quote ‘genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration’. He spent decades observing the natural world, formulating tentative theories and cross-checking facts, before On the Origin of Species was published. Darwin proposed that evolution was propelled by natural selection, the process where individuals with traits most suitable for their environment survive and those with unsuitable traits die out. Today, On the Origin of Species is considered by many scientists to be the fundamental work on evolutionary biology. Darwin is recognised not only for changing the face of biology, but also because his controversial book deepened the rift between science and religion, a wound that has yet to heal.

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